14th Oct 2009, 19:16

I disagree. Any car at a rock bottom price is usually a good deal (depending on the car). I paid a $1,000 for my grandsons Neon. We replaced the head gasket and not much else. It's at 83,500 miles now and is doing fine. Not all Chrysler vehicles are bad. This Neon I have has gone 15 years and 83,000 maintenance neglected miles, and it's doing fine.

14th Oct 2009, 21:03

Chrysler makes vehicles just as good as the next. The truth is, someone is always going to end up with a lemon. ALWAYS. Want to know the only car that I've ever had trouble with? (This is going to kill you) A Honda Accord. yup, one of those imports that apparently lasts a million miles. Don't think so. But are there people that have had good Accords? Of course. Fact is, cars are machines. Machines break. End of story.

16th Oct 2009, 03:30

I'm not talking out of the blue here. Chrysler hasn't produced any quality passenger cars for decades. Stratus, 300M/Concord, Sebring, Grand Voyager, do I need to say more. All have serious issues. Engine, transmission, suspension, car electronics. It's a long list.

16th Oct 2009, 16:27

I think people get the wrong idea coming on a site and seeing a couple of people making broad statements about a whole car company. I agree with the person who says that cars are machines, and they can break. Here's my take:

Cars are indeed machines, assembled from mass produced parts. When you're assembling hundreds of thousands of units, all from millions of mass produced parts, there are chances for things to not go together correctly. Some of it may be due to an individual worker slacking off, some of it due to a subcontractor who delivered a batch of faulty parts, or maybe one vehicle is assembled with parts that just happen to be at the outer limits of the manufacturing tolerance range. With hundreds of thousands of units, there will be some failure rate.

Granted, there are design flaws in some models, with some weaker than others. But it mostly comes down to maintenance. You take a car with thin walled head castings, and give it to somebody who drives it hard, never bothers to flush out or even check the engine coolant, or tries to drive when the temperature gauge is buried and they will blow a head gasket.

You take the same car and treat it gently, and do all the maintenance, and it will last a long time and be a good car. And yet, you get exactly the opposite comments over the same car from both people. Both are right, for them.

Everybody knows about the bad ball joints on late '90s Dodge Dakotas and Durangos, and obviously that was a manufacturer's problem and not maintenance. And everybody knows about Neons that blow head gaskets, or the 4.7L or 2.7L Dodge engines, or 3.8L Ford engines that blow head gaskets or get engine sludge. But, not every Neon, Durango, Windstar or what have you is sitting in a junkyard. Most are still out there plugging along. The cars that fail are the ones that are pushed to failure. Of course, nobody ever thinks that they are "that person" who abuses their car. It's always the car's fault, which is just human nature.

17th Oct 2009, 15:06

I could not agree more, and could not have said this any better myself. I hear horrible comments about all of those vehicles you listed. And actually, I own a Dodge Neon. And my head gasket did go, but in the car's defense, I know for a fact that it was not taken care of by the previous owner. I got the head gasket fixed and I now take immaculate care of it. It has NEVER left me stranded, and always gets me where I need to go without complaining. A car is only as good as the person who maintains it.

19th Oct 2009, 11:13

Yes, case in point, the last comment is from "the guy who refuses to believe that he is abusing his car."

Plenty of other people have Caravans with no transmission problems, so why does all the bad luck happen to you?

19th Oct 2009, 13:02

Yes, Chrysler is not the proud marque that it once was. I doubt that it will be again anytime soon.

Based on my personal experience, their customer service is the worst I've ever dealt with. I would not have shed a tear had they not gotten a penny of bail-out money.

20th Oct 2009, 15:57

Well, I'm not trying to insult anybody or start an argument. I'm just a believer in religious maintenance and treating a car gently. What some people consider treating a car like fragile porcelain might be normal usage for me. And what some people consider normal, I would consider the equivalent of playing on the tire swing in the gorilla compound.

I do agree that some designs are weak, and I also agree that sometimes the manufacturer's recommended service is not adequate. That's why whenever I get a used vehicle, I immediately change oil/filter, change transmission fluid/filter, check differential fluid levels, flush engine coolant, change air filter, and get the brakes checked. That way I know just where I stand, because I assume that the previous owner has probably done nothing. I also follow the service intervals in the Haynes Manuals, which I buy from Amazon as soon as I get the car home. The Haynes Manuals usually recommend maintenance intervals that are about twice as frequent (half as long) as the manufacturer.

I change oil using Mobil 1 synthetic every 3,000 miles, and would never wait 5,000 or 7,000 miles like some people. Maybe that means that I could have driven a notorious Dodge 2.7 L or 4.7 L successfully. And I know many manufacturers say "transmission fluid never needs to be changed and is good for the life of the car", but I interpret that to mean the first five years that the original owner has it. When I bought my 4-year old truck with 75,000 miles, I had it all changed, like I described. That was 35,000 miles ago, and no problems yet.

A vehicle is such a large investment, and so many people just don't take care of them. Yeah, I do treat mine like porcelain compared to some because I know how fragile they really are, and intend for mine to last. If other people want to do other things, that's up to them.

21st Oct 2009, 08:44

Several of the transmissions used in these cars have major reliability issues. Especially the A604 transmission, which is notorious for premature failure. There are several recalls related to these transmissions, but keeping them working is almost impossible without a modification rebuild (you basically changes much of the internal working parts and some of the electronics). To claim that Chrysler/Dodge did not have major transmission problems in the nineties and up to recent time, means that you have not got your facts straight.

21st Oct 2009, 11:25

I don't see that anyone has claimed that. But even with a weak design, it is possible to extend the life by treating it gently. Yes, "everyone" has heard about Chrysler with weak transmission and yet not "everyone" has had their transmission fail. I think you are overstating the problem.

21st Oct 2009, 21:30

So Chrysler may have had some transmission issues, although I have owned several and never had an issue, but have you happened to have looked at any other manufactures lately? People just start going crazy and are ready to fight about how bad Chrysler transmissions are, but have you seen any of the reviews for Honda and Acura?? It seems that they just can't get it right either...

26th Oct 2009, 13:36

Modern day car maintenance is just a nightmare. I'm on the verge of buying a Dodge Diplomat or similar old rear drive Fifth Avenue. That's when they knew how to build durable cars. Stratus is just another maintenance nightmare 'Made by Chrysler' and they knew how to make them last before. Now you are barely past car payments when your first transmission and engine goes.

And what's worse is that most repair shops, dealer or non dealer, don't know how to repair modern type cars meaning cars with electronic fuel injection/catalyst/modern emission equipment/electronically managed transmission and et cetera. The mechanical parts are usually OK, but the car's electronics are just a nightmare to troubleshoot and fix. And FWD means there's no space under the bonnet to work. I'm surprised that a whole industry can make products that badly constructed, the problem is not isolated to Chrysler/Dodge.

11th Feb 2011, 23:44

My 1997 Dodge Stratus has in the last 6 months a new alternator, new battery, and new cables. I tried to start it tonight, and there was nothing; no engine turn over, and no click.

Tried to jump it, lights were then bright, but still no sound when turning the key. Could it be a fuse or starter?